Companies conduct GDs to judge your capability, on the basis of a plethora of well-defined parameters. Keep reading our helpful group discussion tips to know all about these parameters and what you should do as a participant to crack a group discussion round.

What is group discussion?

Definition

Group discussion is a hiring technique applied by most organizations to select an ideal candidate for a particular job role.

What happens in a GD round?

Basically, it is an informal discussion in which candidates with similar academic qualifications or related educational backgrounds, discuss a topic. So, it is sometimes called a ‘leaderless discussion’. The topic of discussion is generally provided by a panelist or a group of panelists. An ideal GD process has been described below:

  • You will sit in a room with 6-12 participants
  • You will be judged by a moderator/panelist
  • You will be given a topic by the panelist
  • You will be given a time slot (5 to 10 minutes) to think and frame your points
  • You will be given a time slot (15 to 30 minutes) to discuss the topic with your group
  • To stop you from speaking beyond your individual time limit, your GD panelist might intervene.
  • Your panelist might signal the group (by ringing a bell) to end the GD round.

Who is a panelist in a GD round?

‘Panelists’ or ‘moderators’ are the people who preside over a group discussion round. Evaluation parameters used by panelists might vary from company to company, but the general framework remains the same.

GD Evaluation Sheet (Sample)

Date: __________________
Time slot: ______________
Group strength: _________________
Topic:__________________
Evaluator:_______________

Parameter Weightage Cand1 Cand2 Cand3 Cand4 Cand5 Cand6
Subject knowledge 30%
Creativity/originality 5%
Voice 5%
Body language 10%
Analytical Ability 5%
Fluency 5%
Initiative 5%
Leadership 10%
Group Behavior 15%
Enthusiasm 5%
Listening 5%

Note: This is just a sample GD evaluation sheet. It is incomplete and not final.
GD Rating
1 – Worst, 2 – Very bad, 3 – Bad, 4 – Neutral, 5 – Good, 6 – Very good,
7 – Excellent

Quick Tip: A quick group discussion tip on evaluation
A candidate who does not speak during the GD round may not be rated on any of the above-mentioned parameters. A candidate might be awarded 1 only when s/he is exceptionally bad or 7 when s/he is exceptionally good. Different parameters of evaluation are mentioned in the table above. The scores allotted to them are mentioned in the first column, for e.g., content = 30%, creativity = 5%, body language = 10% and so on.

Suggested Resource: Click here to download this sample-GD evaluation sheet to understand the GD scoring process in detail.

2. Purpose and importance of GD round

Honestly, a group discussion saves the employer’s time! Besides, it’s a great way to test your knowledge, nerves and communication skills, at once. We have enlisted some core objectives of a group discussion round below:

  • To judge whether you are a good fit for a company
  • To test whether you are a team player
  • To assess your business communication skills
  • To evaluate your subject knowledge
  • To check if you are comfortable to speak on a particular topic or subject
  • To assess the spontaneity of your thoughts
  • To gauge your diction and facial expressions

Why is it so important?

In every company, employees communicate with N number of people from various walks of life (such as colleagues, customers, managers, clients, resources etc.).
This calls for an effective expression of ideas through words and also the power to use one’s knowledge in a systematic manner.
So the heart of the matter is to find out – who can make a mark in a group with his/her ability to communicate.
If you fail to present your point of view in a logical manner or you do not portray good listening and communication skills within a group, you might not be able to impress the GD panelists.

Bottomline: Competition is tough. So, speak up!

3. Best time to speak in a group discussion. (When exactly is my turn?)

Getting a chance to speak is not an option in a GD round. You have to snatch your opportunity. But do not make it obvious. Here are some scenarios where you can start speaking:

I want to speak first 🙂

If you are a dynamic person by nature and you feel confident about your knowledge on the topic (provided by the moderator), then don’t waste time. Initiate the action!

I wanted to speak first, but someone else already did 🙁

If you feel your opinion differs from that of the group’s initiator, react by opposing his/her move mildly. Put forth new ideas and give the group discussion a fresh dimension.

I had a great idea but it just got stolen 🙁

This is your chance to hook onto others’ ideas. Thank them for bringing the point into the picture and support their idea with substantial facts and/or data points.

I don’t have any points to make 😐

Do not be a bystander. You can conclude the GD with a kickass summary. If you have no clue about the GD topic on the table, keep noting important points presented by fellow participants. Remember, speaking last in a GD leaves a great impression on the moderator. So you haven’t lost the battle yet!

Bottomline: Be proactive, not reactive.

4. Categories or types of group discussion topics

This section chalks down all the categories of the latest GD topics for campus recruitment. As a candidate, you should know how to handle and generate points instantly for different types of GD Topics. Group Discussion Topics can be broadly classified into two categories: Factual and Abstract.

Factual topics for group discussion

These are GD topics for engineering students, undergraduates, and graduates in India. Group discussion topics for MBA also include these topics. Factual GD topics are used to assess whether a candidate can gather and analyze information pertaining to select areas. These GD topics can be further classified into the following sub-categories.

Abstract topics for group discussion

These are mainly situation based topics and check whether a candidate can “think out of the box”. Some sub-categories of abstract GD topics have been listed below. MBA aspirants, job seekers, professionals, and freshers can prepare for their upcoming group discussion rounds with these sample GD topics.

5. Common mistakes that you must avoid in a GD round

Deviating from the subject:

Focus on your points alone and do not let other candidates push you out of the topic. Be poised and stay calm if they try to agitate you.

Losing neutrality and making personal attacks:

Maintain your calm and keep your debate down to earth. This is just an interview round, not a war.

Focusing on quantity rather than quality:

As discussed previously, gather your thoughts and give them a structure mentally before speaking.

Dominating too much:

Do not sound bossy and snub everyone with snide remarks or too many points. This will only fetch negative marks.

Quoting too many facts and figures:

Mentioning quotations and facts is a good way of scoring points. But don’t go overboard with them. Maintain a balance while you speak.

Analyzing a topic poorly or starting in a haste:

Listen carefully, think and then speak. Speak first only if you are confident about the topic. Don’t be in a hurry to start first. You may end up speaking rubbish.

Staying tight-lipped:

This is an interactive round to check your communication skills within a group. So, speak up to add value to the GD round.

Hope you found this blog useful. Don’t forget to share your experiences in the comments section below. All the best!

Group Discussion Interview Advice Campus Placement